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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Organic gardening in Ireland / Alternative and Sustainable Gardening practices

Solarize your soil, non-chemical weed and disease control.


 
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:55 am    Post subject: Solarize your soil, non-chemical weed and disease control. Reply with quote

Solarize your soil, non-chemical weed and disease control.
by GPI

Solarizing your soil is one of the foremost non-chemical methods to rid soil from weeds, weed seeds and many diseases and pests. To solarize an area of soil it must be covered with a clear plastic cover or transparent film for 8-10 weeks. Sunlight through this cover will heat up the top 6 inches of soil to such a degree as to clear it of any number of irritations.

. Clear plastic laid for soil solarization , photo / pic / image.

Rules.

Arrow May, June, July and August are the best months of the year to carry out solarization, due to increased heat and sunlight. But I have found the process to be quite effective at most any time of the growing season.

Arrow Only use a transparent cover because coloured plastic will not heat the soil up sufficiently.

Arrow If you can at all, try to use one complete piece of plastic to prevent heat escaping when many overlapping sheets are used. Large sheets of clear plastic film can be purchased in farmer's co-ops and hardware stores.

Arrow Use 1 to 2mm thick plastic/film.

Arrow If the area to be solarized is full of weeds and grass, you should cut these down as low as possible. Better still, pull or dig them out.

Arrow Ensure the area to be solarized is free of surface clods, stones, and sticks, which could puncture the covering.

Arrow Rake the surface of the soil to a smooth finish before covering it with the plastic.

Arrow Liberally moisten the surface of the soil with a hose, sprinkler or watering can before covering it.

Arrow Carefully lay the sheet of plastic film over the soil without puncturing it and being careful to avoid creating large air pockets.

Arrow Dig all edges of the cover into the soil to a depth of six inches. Some extra soil or a few bricks around the edges would also be helpful to retain the cover.

Arrow Leave the cover in place for a minimum of eight weeks, preferably ten. During this time if any leaves or other light blocking debris settle on the cover, you should brush them off.

Arrow After eight to ten weeks, you can remove the covering to expose a "clean slate" with which to work.

Arrow Be aware that only top six inches of soil has been purged when you solarize, so if you dig deeper you may occasionally bring troublesome weed seeds to the surface.

Any queries or comments on Solarize your soil, non-chemical weed and disease control., please post below.

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walltoall
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:40 am    Post subject: surfing catches rare fish with just yer fingers Reply with quote

GPI
Purely by coincidence I came across a [Dr. Sunny] post about solarization and have just gone through it with a fine rake. That's a really cool article and lotsa people starting out with a virgin plot could usefully read it. I think new people to IrishGardeners.com have no idea how powerful the google search facility for this site is. I'm continually surprised. Thanks for all the work you put in too. It's easy to forget that behind every great facility there's a few guys putting in a hard slog.
W2W

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Sive
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely put, walltowall, and I totally agree with you. Well done to all concerned.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words folks.
Placing a highlighter next to our powerful search is next for development.
What do you reckon, a flashing beacon perhaps. Laughing

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walltoall
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:25 pm    Post subject: flashing beacons he sez? Reply with quote

Here's a flashing beacon I use on one of my maritime sites. I've added it as an attachment but I can't guarantee the flash.


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lighthouse.gif



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